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November 24, 2014

Our Complete Day-By-Day Guide To Thanksgiving Weekend In Philadelphia 2014 — Things To Do This Thanksgiving Weekend In Philly

Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Thanksgiving holiday serves up more than just a reason to eat turkey. Celebrate the whole long weekend, including with the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. (Photo courtesy 6abc)

Philadelphia goes big for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with a spectacular citywide celebration.

After soaking up Philly’s nightlife on Thanksgiving Eve, officially kick-off the holiday season with the 95th Annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade — the oldest parade of its kind in the nation. The 1.4-mile parade down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway features gigantic balloons, celebrity appearances, local performers and festive floats.

You’ll give thanks for Philadelphia’s fantastic restaurants as many are offering delicious Thanksgiving dinners to help you avoid the stress of cooking and cleaning for the holiday.

The day after Thanksgiving means the official start of the holidays. Stay in the city with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package to explore the city’s holiday lights, pop-up shops and traditional family-friendly holiday attractions throughout the weekend.

Read on for our official guide to Thanksgiving weekend fun in Philadelphia.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26 — Thanksgiving Eve

• Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park

Before you hit the town for the evening, consider swinging by one of the most exciting holiday transformations in the city: the Rothman Institute Ice Rink at the brand-new Dilworth Park at City Hall. The park will be open from 3 to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve, which gives you plenty of time to hit the ice before the night’s festivities. Admission is $3 for children ages 10 and under and $4 for adults. For those who don’t own their own skates, rental is $8. MORE INFO

• Franklin Square Holiday Festival

Winter nights are joyfully brighter this holiday season with the Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show. The show is just one part of the Franklin Square Holiday Festival, though, featuring nearly seven weeks of attractions and activities. MORE INFO

• Jive Turkey Thanksgiving Dance Party at The Trestle Inn

Sip discounted Wild Turkey bourbon and groove to funk music at The Trestle Inn’s Thanksgiving Eve party. The celebration kicks off at 9 p.m., but before that, beginning at 7 p.m., catch a screening of Super Fly. MORE INFO

• Fergie’s Pub 20th Anniversary Party Launch

Celebrate 20 years of rip roaring good times at Fergie’s Pub starting on Wednesday, November 26, Thanksgiving Eve, and continuing through Monday, December 1. On Wednesday night, aspiring rock stars can sing their hearts out with Live Band Karaoke featuring The Satellite Hearts. The party continues on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with happy hours and live music, culminating in an anniversary party on Monday, December 1. MORE INFO

Johnny Brenda's

Get dressed up in your Thanksgiving finest and head to Johnny Brenda’s for a dance party. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

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November 24, 2014

Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway Returns To Bring Holiday Cheer To The Chestnut Hill Attraction, Friday, November 28-January 4

More holiday fun: Morris Arboretum opens its Holiday Garden Railway this Friday, November 28. (Photo by Paul Meyer courtesy Morris Arboretum)

More holiday fun arrives this weekend as Morris Arboretum opens its Holiday Garden Railway this Friday, November 28.
(Photo by Paul Meyer courtesy Morris Arboretum)

All aboard!

The holiday season starts at Morris Arboretum with the return of its Holiday Garden Railway, a quarter-mile miniature railroad set within the winter wonderland that is Morris Arboretum.

The annual holiday railroad celebrates the arboretum’s roots as it is made completely from natural materials — sticks, leaves, hollowed-out logs, seeds, stones, flowers and more.

The holiday railroad even promises a trestle bridge that you can walk underneath. Along the railroad, recreations of Philadelphia landmarks make up the sights, too — like a miniature Independence Hall.

This year, the holiday railroad opens on Black Friday, November 28 and officially celebrates its grand opening with a celebration on Saturday, November 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. At the opening celebration, guests can look forward to Christmas carols, holiday performances and plenty of cheer.

In addition to the daytime activities at the railroad, it opens up at night for its Friday Night Lights event.

On Fridays, December 5, 12, 19 and 26, the arboretum opens its doors to late-night guests for a chance to see the arboretum’s renowned holiday railroad all lit up at nightfall. Admission to Friday Night Lights is not included in the price of admission.

Note that the holiday railroad will be closed on December 24, 25 and January 1.

Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
When: November 28-January 4
Where: Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue
Cost: Included in general admission; Friday Night Lights, member adult, $9, member child, $3; non-member adult, $16, non-member adult, $8
More info: www.business-services.upenn.edu

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November 24, 2014

Longwood Gardens Opens A Longwood Christmas, A Dazzling Show Of Twinkling Lights, Holiday Music And More, November 27-January 11

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens opens its Christmas display on Thanksgiving, November 27 and continues the festive display through January 11. (Photo by L. Albee for Longwood Gardens)

Longwood Gardens opens its Christmas display on Thanksgiving Day this Thursday, November 27, with twinkling trees, dazzling fountain shows, snowflake displays, Christmas music, thousands of holiday lights, poinsettias and more.

Every year, A Longwood Christmas opens under a different theme, and this year the display centers around birds. Guests can look forward to Christmas trees bedecked with bird nests and faux birds, a peacock masquerade-themed music room and more.

Throughout the run of A Longwood Christmas, holiday performances will fill Longwood Gardens, too. Sing along to daily Christmas carols played by an organ or get in the spirit with Christmas music performances by local groups.

Also throughout the seasonal display, illuminated fountain shows will show off Longwoods’ many fountains throughout the grounds. The five-minute shows will run every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and every five minutes beginning at 3:30 p.m.

All tickets are issued for a specific date and time and are available for advance purchase. Tickets are known to sell out, so secure your spot online.

Ticket prices vary based on peak or non-peak times: non-peak is Mondays through Fridays, excluding December 26 through 31, which costs $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for students.

Peak times are Saturdays, Sundays and December 26 through 31, and costs $27 for adults, $24 for seniors and $13 for students. Children under four always enter for free. Tickets are available online.

A Longwood Christmas
When: November 27-January 11
Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square
Cost: Non-Peak Admission, $20 for adults, $17 for seniors, $10 for students; Peak Admission, $27 for adults, $24 for seniors, $13 for students
More info: www.longwoodgardens.org

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November 24, 2014

1812 Productions Brings Good Cheer And Political Humor To The Holiday Season With This Is the Week That Is, Opening Friday, November 28

1812 Productions

The ensemble cast of This Is The Week That Is takes the stage this holiday season at the Plays & Players Theatre.
(Photo courtesy 1812 Productions)

1812 Productions, the Philadelphia theater company that believes the world could always use more comedy, creates much mirth and laughter from the world of politics with its annual hit show, This Is The Week That Is, beginning its yearly showing this Friday, November 28.

A stylistic mash-up of variety shows like The Carol Burnett Show and fake news programs such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, This Is The Week That Is aims to keep you up to speed on all things political by revealing the truth behind the news headlines.

Seeing as we’re hot on the heels of the 2014 mid-term elections, the show has plenty of fodder to make hay about regarding our national and local political scenes. It also pokes fun at the commodification of information in world where hashtag mania has taken over the news feed.

The cast also heads to the Corporation family reunion for quality time with the Wal-Mart, Hooters, Coca-Cola and McDonalds families, while also exploring pop culture love for Orange is the New Black, ISIS is the new Al Qaeda and Barack Obama is the new George Bush.

And of course, there’s the crackerjack South Philadelphia correspondent, Patsy, who is sure to offer hilarious commentary and her unique brand of common sense.

Tickets, starting at $26, are available online.

Just try to not laugh out loud.

This Is the Week That Is
When: November 28-December 31
Where: Play’s & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Street
Cost: $26-$40
More info: www.1812productions.org

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November 24, 2014

The Four Seasons Hotel Invites Pint-Sized Guests In For Teatime In Wonderland, Saturdays, November 29-December 27

The Lounge at The Four Seasons Hotel hosts its annual Teatime in Wonderland event for pint-sized guests, Saturdays from November 29 through December 27. (Photo courtesy Four Seasons Philadelphia)

The Lounge at The Four Seasons Hotel hosts its annual Teatime in Wonderland event for pint-sized guests, Saturdays from November 29 through December 27. (Photo courtesy Four Seasons Philadelphia)

Transport to Alice’s Wonderland this holiday season at the Four Seasons Hotel’s Teatime in Wonderland event, running on Saturdays from November 29 through December 27.

The Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel will be transformed into a fanciful wonderland complete with scenes from The Nutcracker as performed by The Rock School for Dance Education and a chance to meet Alice in Wonderland herself.

Teatime is $79 per person and includes tea sandwiches, scones, desserts, hot chocolate and of course, tea.

Teatime in Wonderland guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to The Salvation Army.

Each week, two seatings will be available — from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Reservations are required, call 215-963-2750 to secure your spot at the tea table.

Teatime in Wonderland
When: Saturdays, November 29-December 27, 1 p.m. or 4 p.m.
Where: The Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel, 1 Logan Square
Cost: $79 per person
More info: www.fourseasons.com/philadelphia

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November 21, 2014

Arden Theatre Company Presents A Boldly Reimagined Beauty And The Beast For Children, Opening Wednesday, November 26

Arden

Last season, Mary Tuomanen played Cinderella in the Arden Children’s Theatre production. Now, the company takes on another classic fairy tale with Beauty and the Beast. (Photo by Mark Garvin)

A classic fairy tale is fully reimagined when the Arden Theatre Company presents Beauty and the Beast, opening Wednesday, November 26.

Based on the much loved story by Charles Way, the two main characters are so well known — a beautiful woman and a beastly man — that they need no introduction.

Be advised, however, this Arden Children’s Theatre production is not in any way the Disney version of the tale.

Directed by Whit McLaughlin, the play features his trademark innovative approach to theater. For instance, the show makes substantial use of shadows on a stark curtained set.

This is McLaughlin’s 13th production for Arden Children’s Theatre. Among his past presentations are Cinderella, Charlotte’s Web, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (nominated for four Philadelphia Barrymore Awards), and A Year with Frog and Toad (nominated for five Barrymore Awards).

As with other plays presented under the Arden Children’s Theater banner, the play is produced to professional standards and offers entertainment for young and old alike.

Beauty and the Beast is recommended for ages 4 and older, and tickets are available online.

Beauty and the Beast
When: November 26-February 1, 2015
Where: Arden Theatre, 40 N. 2nd Street
Cost: $18-$36
More info: www.ardentheatre.org

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November 21, 2014

Weekend Picks: Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, Peddler’s Village Grand Illumination Celebration, Franklin Flea Holiday Market, Dilworth Park Ice Rink, Franklin Square Holiday Festival And More

Philadelphia Marathon

The Philadelphia Marathon brings a major burst of energy to Philadelphia this weekend as it fills the cit with 30,000 participants and 60,000 spectators. (Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

It’s marathon weekend in Philadelphia, which means tons of healthy competitive spirit will fill the city all weekend long.

The Philadelphia Marathon will welcome 30,000 participants and an expected 60,000 spectators over the course of three-days of festivities, which include four races and a free health expo.

Peddler’s Village ushers in the holiday season with its annual Grand Illumination Celebration , which is set to fill the Bucks County attraction with one million holiday lights starting tonight.

Also this weekend, the Franklin Flea Holiday Market returns on Saturday. Head to the Historic Strawbridge’s Building for some early Christmas shopping.

Read on for our guide to this weekend.

Friday, November 21

Top Pick: Philadelphia Marathon Weekend

Top Pick: Peddler’s Village Grand Illumination Celebration

Top Pick: Dilworth Park Ice Rink (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Ben’s Bites and Brews Beer Garden at Franklin Square

Top Pick: Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Top Pick: Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (Fri, Sat)

Bob Dylan and His Band at The Academy of Music (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Manita Burrito Pop-Up at Mugshot’s Coffeehouse (Fri, Sat, Sun)

do it Compendium Release Party

Art Sanctuary’s Sanctuary LIVE!

The 3rd Space: After Dark at HyLo Labs

BalletX Fall Series 2014 (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Now Open: ellelauri

PHS Holiday Pop-Up Store in Chestnut Hill

Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello at the National Constitution Center (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Philadelphia Orchestra Presents Brahms and Stravinsky at Verizon Hall

Lobster Month at Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House (Fri, Sat, Sun)

BBC Burlesque at PhilaMOCA

Peddler's Village

The holidays have arrived at Peddler’s Village as the attraction illuminates its twinkling holiday lights with its Grand Illumination Celebration on Friday. (Photo courtesy Peddler’s Village)

Saturday, November 22

Top Pick: Franklin Flea Holiday Market at the Historic Strawbridge’s Building

Top Pick: Franklin Square Holiday Festival (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: Late-Night Burger, Bourbon and Beer Special at The Fat Ham

Top Pick: William Glackens at The Barnes Foundation (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Top Pick: A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place (Sat, Sun) — Opening Day!

Book Paper Scissors at the Free Library of Philadelphia

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November 21, 2014

Visit The James Turrell-Designed Skyspace At Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting During Special Winter Viewings This Holiday Season

The Skyspace at Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting welcomes visitors to the James Turrell designed sanctuary on additional days this holiday season. (Photo by Greg Benson)

Celebrated artist James Turrell’s Skyspaces bring the study of light and space to museums and public places around the world — including to the year-old Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, the meetinghouse for the Chestnut Hill Quaker community.

Since the Skyspace at Chestnut Hill Friends opened last year, the space has welcomed thousands of visitors to take in the dramatic light installation, which is essentially a room with an aperture in the ceiling through which visitors can contemplate the sky.

The Skyspace is most extraordinary at dawn and dusk, and is open to the public at designated times throughout the year for viewings.

During the winter months, the only regularly scheduled viewing is generally on Sunday evenings. Now, those looking for a bit of holiday quiet can register to view the Skyspace on additional days this season.

Five special winter viewings are now available on holidays including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. See below or check here for the complete schedule of holiday viewings.

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or cushions and dress warmly, as the space is unheated. Also, note that all dates are weather dependent.

Though the Skyspace is completely free to experience, visitors should register online to attend a special holiday gathering due to limited seating.

For complete Skyspace experience information and to make reservations for visiting, check here.

Holiday Hours at James Turrell Skyspace at Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting
When: Ongoing
Where: Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, 20 East Mermaid Lane, Chestnut Hill
Cost: Free; registration required
More info: www.chestnuthillskyspace.org
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November 21, 2014

Donate To Families In Need During The Food Trust’s Eat Healthy, Give Healthy! Food Drive This Weekend, November 22-23

Headhouse Market

The Food Trust hosts a great opportunity to give back this holiday season at two of its farmers’ markets this weekend, including Headhouse Square. (Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Are you heading to the market this weekend to buy everything you need to create a scrumptious, gluttonous Thanksgiving? If so, why not pick up something extra for a family in need?

The Food Trust and Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger have partnered up for Eat Healthy, Give Healthy!, a food drive at two of the busiest farmers’ markets in the city.

On Saturday, November 22, representatives from The Food Trust and the Coalition Against Hunger will be on hand at the Fitler Square Farmers’ Market at 22nd and Pine streets from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to collect any extra purchases made for hungry Philadelphians.

On Sunday, the food drive moves to the Headhouse Farmers’ Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All donations will go to Green Light Pantries. So, while you’re doing your own shopping this weekend, consider picking up an extra head of lettuce or a few bunches of carrots to donate.

A few dollars will go a long way towards helping your neighbors have a happy holiday.

Eat Healthy, Give Healthy! food drive
When: Saturday, November 22, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sunday, November 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Fitler Square Farmers’ Market (23rd and Pine streets) on Saturday, and Headhouse Farmers’ Market (2nd and Lombard streets) on Sunday
Cost: Donations Requested
More info: www.thefoodtrust.org

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November 21, 2014

Roundup: A Guide To The Top Christmas Tree Lighting Celebrations In Neighborhoods Throughout Philadelphia This Holiday Season

Rittenhouse Tree

Christmas trees are popping up at popular locations throughout the city and bringing a slew of tree lighting celebrations in tow.
(Photo by K. Ciappa for Visit Philadelphia)

Make merry this holiday season by attending a festive Christmas tree lighting celebration in a number of neighborhoods throughout the city.

Bundle up, grab some friends and watch hundreds of twinkling lights illuminate trees at public spaces like Rittenhouse Square, Love Park, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, Citizens Bank Park and the Singing Fountain in East Passyunk.

Read on for our guide to Christmas tree lighting celebrations in Philadelphia.

Tree Lighting Ceremony at Christmas Village in LOVE Park

To Be Announced. Head to the ever-popular German-style Christmas Village at LOVE Park for the annual lighting ceremony. While you’re there, be sure to browse the more than 50 decorated booths selling international seasonal gifts, traditional Christmas ornaments, jewelry and high-quality arts and crafts. MORE INFO

Christmas Tree Lighting in Rittenhouse Square

Monday, December 1, 5 p.m. During the holidays, Rittenhouse Square boasts one of the largest Christmas trees in the city. Every year, locals and visitors pack the popular park for the ceremonial lighting of the Rittenhouse Square Christmas Tree, which is typically more than 30 feet tall. Throughout the season, the park is aglow with 5,000 colorful globes making a cheerful sight for holiday shoppers amongst the popular stores along Rittenhouse Row. MORE INFO

City Hall Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Spectacular

Wednesday, December 3, 6 p.m. With the recent completion of the brand new Dilworth Park, City Hall’s tree lighting celebration moves to its courtyard for 2014. This year’s tree, a 35-foot-tall Norway spruce, was harvested at Linvilla Orchards in Media and will be on display starting November 24. At the tree lighting ceremony on December 3, light entertainment starts at 6 p.m. followed by the official program at 7 p.m. MORE INFO

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Tree Lighting

Friday, December 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The popular Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest on the Delaware River Waterfront goes all out in lighting its 43-foot-tall tree on December 5. Look forward to performances from the Philadelphia Youth Ballet and Philadelphia Symmetry Synchronized Skating as well as the awesome sight of an ice-skating Santa Claus. MORE INFO

Waterfront Winterfest

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest illuminates its trees at a celebration on Friday, December 5.
(Photo courtesy Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

East Passyunk Tree Lighting Party

Thursday, December 4, 5-7 p.m. Philadelphia’s East Passyunk neighborhood will be decking the avenue during the annual Tree Lighting Party at the Singing Fountain. Join festive carolers, student musicians and local businesses for the celebration leading up to Santa lighting the tree. Be sure to visit the stores and businesses along East Passyunk Avenue for great holiday sales and treats. MORE INFO

Holiday Tree Lighting at the Shops at Liberty Place

Tuesday, December 2, 6-8 p.m. Returning for a second year, The Shops at Liberty Place host a towering Christmas tree in its Rotunda. Look forward to holiday performances from The Philadelphia Dance Academy and The Liberty Strings Orchestra, complimentary apps and beverages and a chance to get a photo with Santa Claus. MORE INFO

M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel Tree Lighting

Saturday, December 13, 5 p.m. Ten trees in the courtyard garden of the M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel will be lavishly decorated, and the hotel will be decked out to look like a set from a Dickens book for the holiday season. Swing by on December 13 to visit Santa Claus, peruse antiques and crafts from the Philadelphia Flea Market and try some food and drink specials. And, if you’re looking to adopt a puppy this holiday season, Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) will be on hand as well. MORE INFO

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